Thursday, October 1, 2020

Home-field advantage: Look what they've done to my song...

And then as crappy as my morning had been, it took a distinct turn for the worse.

I got a call from Lizzy. Normally, she texts but sometimes what she needs to tell me is best conveyed with the spoken word.

“Hi Sweetheart. What’s up?” I answered.

“Draik is missing” she said without preamble.

“Beg pardon?” I said.

“I just got off the phone with Lynne. She is frantic. She hasn’t heard from Draik” she said.

Lynne is Lizzy’s “unlucky” sister and Draik is her...our...nephew.

Lynne and Draik are both willing, nay, enthusiastic ‘victims’ of magical thinking. They believe that if they believe something with enough fervor it will come true, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

Lynne had a series of husbands and boyfriends who invariably took advantage of her economically. Her second husband, the one she was married to for ten years (a record!) and was Draik’s father, had drained the 401-k and absconded to southeast Asia for the cheap hookers and heroin.

Every man Lynne had ever brought to the family Christmas party had been a sleeze-ball. Any idiot could see that in less than ten minutes of conversation.

But Lynne either thought the sun shown out their backside or she was sure she could rescue them if she “loved them enough”.

Draik, for the first 18 years of his life could not escape his mother’s love. Others would have been smothered in it, but Draik was made of sterner stuff. He gloried in it. He grew up to be an entitled, self-centered brat.

Lynne’s serial relationships with a continuous stream of swindlers left her destitute. That didn’t stop Draik from milking her for money she did not have. She cheerfully took out credit cards she could not afford to buy Draik the best of everything. In her mind, Draik was the only thing she had ever done half-right, and he was perfect.

“I thought Draik was at George Mason University” I said. George Mason is in northern Virginia, some six-hundred miles away.

“He was. But he left to go join the demonstrations.” Lizzy said.

“I am sure he is fine” I said with a great deal of certainty.

“Well, keep your eye out for him because Lynne is sure he is in Lansing” Liz said.

Well, shit. That certainly changed the complexion of things. The violence in Lansing made international news. It was odd that Draik had bypassed all of the demonstrations in closer, larger cities to come to the demonstration in Lansing.

He had graduated from MSU, so there was that. But something didn’t quite compute.

I promised Lizzy I would keep my eyes open.

The obligations of family demanded that I do more than just keep my eyes open. I might detest Draik but I owned it to Lizzy. Her bonds to Lynne had never been the greatest. They were opposites in almost every way imaginable. But Draik and Lynne are family and that laid an obligation on me that I could not shirk.

I texted Alex Villareal: “I am looking for a kid from Virginia, first name ‘Draik’.”

“Never heard of him” I got back.

Then I asked for a favor he didn’t owe me. “Can you ask the cops?”

“Gonna take a while. Everybody busy” he replied.

Alex knew some guys on the force. What I did not know was how well he knew them. I learned later he had been an agent in the local FBI office and froze his retirement to start a private security firm.

If the cops had the information, Alex would get it. But it was going to take a while. It was one of those message-in-a-bottle things. You pitch it out to sea and don’t know the wheres, whens, or hows of it. You just hope.


I drove home. Took a shower. Changed into clean clothes. Ate a hot meal. Packed another set of clothes, just in case.

Then I loaded about half of my “stash” off ammo into the truck.

The difference between what Lizzy had delivered and this ammo is that this ammo were reloads. Shooting reloaded ammo in a firearm voids the warranty in most cases.

Most reloaders focus on one of two things. They either focus on maximum number of bangs per dollar or they focus on wringing out every last hundredth-of-an-inch out of group size.

I sit between those two bar-stools.

I like cheap and I like repeatable results. But accuracy is only one part of what I ask my ammo to do.

Take my 7.62X51mm NATO reloads. I only reload one bullet weight, 165 grains, and while I reloaded to match the velocity of most popular brand of factory “Precision target ammo”, I used Sierra Hollow-point Gamekings, a hunting bullet.

Same deal with my 5.56mm NATO. I reload to match the “standard” velocity but use hunting bullets, not target or varmint bullets.

I had long since outgrown the stage of trying to find the perfect recipe for every firearm because I found what shot well on one day might not be the best load when the temperature dropped forty degrees, or if it had a wood stock, when the humidity changed.

I wanted loads that were completely without surprises. If I put the cross-hairs where they needed to be and squeezed the trigger, I wanted to bullet to land in the kill-zone and the bullet to do its job. And in my mind, that job meant more than poking a hole in the paper.

Finding Alex was not hard, especially when I told him I had some more “pills” for him.

When I finally caught up with him, he was getting his ass-chewed out by one of his neighbors.

I waited off to the side while she gave him the “benefit” of her thinking.

Having walked in midway, I could only guess what had transpired beforehand.

“So what you are telling me is that you think we ‘antagonized’ the demonstrators by defending our homes?” Alex asked. He did a great job keeping his disbelief out of his voice, far better than I could have managed.

“Absolutely!” the woman said angrily. “You are the reason they burned our house! YOU are responsible and should go to jail.”

“But you just told me that you didn’t defend your house” Alex said. “Why would they burn your house if you didn’t antagonize them?”

“I already told you. They burned our house because you antagonized them” the woman shouted. “We had our signs up supporting them. They were supposed to burn YOUR house, not ours.”

“So you are saying that if we let them burn our house that they would not have burned yours and you would have been happy?” Alex said.

“Exactly. You caused this to happen” the woman said, close to tears.

“Did you happen to look at the neighborhood six blocks north of here?” Alex asked.

“What does that have to do with anything?” the woman demanded.

“Nobody defended those houses and they burned every one of them. The signs didn’t matter. In fact, the only thing buying those signs accomplished is it paid for the gasoline they used to set the fires” Alex told her.

“The signs meant NOTHING. The only houses that did not get burned are the ones where the home-owners worked together and shot people throwing fire-bombs.”

“The fact that you trusted domestic terrorists instead of working with your neighbors is why your house burned. You don’t have a house because you made stupid decisions.” 


  1. Good story. And, yes, I like the idea of reloading for optimum performance across the board, meaning not great, but good no matter what.

    Just one quibble...

    "willing, neigh, enthusiastic.." in the 8th paragraph. Unless the persons being spoken of are horses (or horses' asses) the word 'neigh' should be 'nay.'

    And I too have noticed that the people getting shat upon mostly by the mobs are the woke bastards trying to buy themselves some protection with signs. Serves them right.

    1. Thank-you, sir. Fixed it.

      It boggles my mind that so many people refuse to see direct cause-effect relationships, even when their noses are rubbed in it.

      The same people who claim "I believe in science"

    2. Well, I do believe in science. And the Scientific Method.

      But then again, I also believe in real math, logic, comprehension, cause-and-effect...

      It's the people that use the word 'science' as others use the word 'magic' and invoke 'science' as if it is a magic spell.

      These are the same idiots that truly believe that Columbus proved the world was round. No, that was proved at least as early as ancient Greece (and was a known thing for eons before, as any idiot can see that the world is round.)

      These are the same idiots that believe the Native Americans were peaceful, ecologically sound people.

      And apparently believe that the Black/Hispanic founder of the Proud Boys is a white supremacist...

  2. Wait......what......this wasn't an ironic chapter from a book that you are writing!??!?!!??

  3. Makes one wonder just what is being taught in science classes these days...

    1. Bull shite is what is being taught, if anything is taught at all.

      Same with math.

      And Language.

      The only really good thing to come out of this Covidiocracy is the destruction of the modern school system. Now, finally, parents are taking note of what is being taught to their children and finding out that the dumbed-down stuff the parents were taught have been further dumbed down to where there is little truth in anything any more.

  4. Appeasement NEVER works... It only delays the inevitable. Eventually you're prey if you're not strong/smart enough to be predator. Your stories have me looking at my neighbors from a different perspective.
    Draik may not be a good bet to bring home. It's been my experience that kinfolk like that are low enough to steal anything from anyone compassionate enough to open their home to them. And mommy will gladly run interference because nobody 'understands' her baby. But he can sure redpill someone!

  5. Lynne bears a substantial resemblance to to my wife's aunt, whom I lovingly call Aunt Flake. Married 4 times, first 3 to drunks she was sure she could reform. Still married to the fourth guy, whose issue I'm unsure of and disinterested in. She spent a sizeable part of the family "fortune" on her escapades.

    In her defense, I will say that she never saddled the world with her offspring and she's good to her cats.

  6. Since there is an ammo portion to this chapter of the current book it gives me an excuse to ask what you may feel about something. The reason I said feel and not think will become obvious, maybe. First the disclaimer... no financial or other ties to the link. I've found this guy somewhat entertaining and this is a counterpoint to the Rawles cut shells mentioned in some of his books. Please note I'm not advocating either of these practices. It's just for educational purposes only, however it does seem like it gets around the use of cut shells in pump or semi shotguns.

    1. Elmore Leonard wrote about something similar in one of his Westerns.

      At one level, you work with what you have.

      Some time back there was a competitive skeet shooter in her early teens. A goblin broke into her house. She met him at the top of the stairs (where her bedroom was) and dumped at least one load of #9s into him at bad-breath range.

      He did not survive.

      In our normal world, shooting something weird might get you convicted for super-premeditating. A jury that might have tipped one way might tip the other.

      As a final note: All these things take time. The time you spend fiddling with wax shells takes away from stringing barbed wire or nailing plywood over your windows.

      It is hard to not hyper-focus when the shit is hitting the fan. When the time comes I need an alarm every couple of hours so I can stop and ask myself "Is this task the task I should be working on right now?"

    2. There is no question you are correct about the legality regarding the wax shells. I was just offering the thought for the story. While bad breath distance may work for birdshot up close and personal when you move back to Tueller Drill range things change Your characters might have legal future problems just for picking off C & C from a snipers hide and failing to police their brass in the rail car talk about premeditated lol. I know it's fiction, but if the rioter is about to firebomb your house running out to be close enough to be effective with birdshot might not be the best idea. First they get to id you on camera then it all goes downhill. As to what you should be doing... Heinlein mentions in a story about how a businessman prior to WW2 saw the writing on the wall and moved his family to Guadalcanal so they'd be safe from the fighting. In a perfect world the riots end, the bad guys are no longer a problem for society and we all just get along , but do you have any examples when the socialist/communist folks say oh ok nevermind?

  7. I hear "Dray-ick" reading his name, not "Drake". Probably a sign he is a stinking load to haul around....

  8. Ah, the 165gr. Sierra hunting hollowpoint. My bullet of choice in '06 back in the day. Took many whitetails and one Mulie with it. The bullet blew up on the mule deer's shoulder just under the hide where the jacket stopped and fragged hell out of the chest cavity. That was an anomaly, every other deer I shot with one had a through and through GSW.

  9. I am wondering if Draik might have been one of the Molotov cocktail throwers who got shot by the owner of the home he was about to firebomb. Or possibly one of the group on the roof of Harry's bar. Someone who travels 600 miles to partake of a demonstration might be involved at a higher level than just your standard street level agitator.

    Or maybe Draik really is just a 'demonstrator' who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Ref: Ol'Remus - Stay away from crowds.) In any case, I suspect that Lynne is going to get a visit from the cops soon to inform her that her precious baby is no longer among the living.

  10. Yep, those people ARE out there... sigh


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